By the way, Ivonne is awesome. She’s taken pity on my blog and helped to a bit of a revamp. The footnotes and framework was all her doing and for that I am extremely thankful. I just think she couldn’t stand another year of douchery over here and just made it happen.
Ok, so I wallowed enough and aplenty yesterday, so that phase is thankfully over. Funny, though, that when I get really down, my first thought is to music, particularly lyrical content. 1 Not that I was going to write a whole song about being rejected for a job, but you catch my drift. It definitely gave me some inspirational points though, and now that Spencer has asked me to collaborate on a track that will go on his new album, I’ve got some pieces to work with. I’ll get to this in a second, though…
Anyway, back to the weeping and gnashing of teeth:
Ivonne and I talked about it pretty extensively last night and – bless her, she, Tom and Spencer, were amazingly attentive, making sure I wasn’t repeatedly punching myself in the groin all day – there are a ton of factors that are simply out of my control, many of them I probably don’t even realize. 2 The bottom line is, though, that I – somehow, someway – completely missed the mark. I likened it to having the puck on my stick and fanning on the shot. It happens, man. You learn from it, you think about how you’ll handle the situation in the future and you move on. Nothing more you can do, really.
So today will not be met with the same grieving. Today, it’s all about what’s next, about things I can control. One of them is music.
Spencer asked me to contribute to a track that he re-discovered earlier this week that he wants to put on his new Zyxt album. It’d be a Zyxt remix of an Irulan track which will undoubtedly be good exposure for the both of us, 3 but it keeps the creative train chugging along; we’ve been working on a demo that sounds really good so far and that leads to working on other tracks that simply need some structure and fine tuning. I’ve got a couple new ideas around the writing and creative process that need to be fleshed out, but so far, it’s working. I just like the fact that I’m being productive in this space and not just spinning my wheels. Stay tuned for more greatness along these lines shortly, me thinks…
Things on the home front are good from my perspective but Ivonne is having a bit of trouble the last few weeks and it makes me feel terrible for her. The woman needs some good juju, stat. So I’m sending her to DC this weekend to hang out with Diana – a much needed and deserved weekend of Womanhood sans Mommyhood – and hopefully she’ll return a bit refreshed. She’s such a trooper; putting up with our schedules, her responsibilities as a mom, lack of mobility, and the inclement weather is not easy and she’s done an amazing job on all fronts. She deserves a bit of a break. Hopefully I can make sure she gets more of them.
Reza has discovered video games, however, and it’s been pretty cool to watch. She’s been enamored with Mario Party, mostly because it’s a game that doesn’t require a lot of hand/eye coodination4 and relies on personal interaction. But everything – and I mean everything – is overly funny, overly loud, and overly dramatic to the point that if I hear “OH MY GOSH, IF WE LAND ON A BOWSER SPACE HE’LL TAKE HALF OUR COINS” less than four times in a 15 second span I’ll call it a victory. It really is a cool space to be in with her because we’re literally watching her develop her self-esteem, identity, sense of humor, and toughness all at once. She’s doing a great job balancing them, to be sure, but she still has her moments. It’s hard turning into a Little Girl. Glad I didn’t have to do it.
Last but not least, Ivonne started the Spring Cleaning a bit early this year, but damn if it doesn’t feel good. I just need to do my part and help keep things organized and picked up. I’m sure that’ll go a long way.
I really miss my family. I’ll talk about that later, though. For now, time to see what’s on the docket at work and wrap my head the day. Coffee helps! To the brew!
- I’ve noticed this phenomena many times and I’m not sure what’s going on there. Maybe that’s why I’m having such a hard time writing lyrics these days, ’cause everything is awesome? So my art thrives on depression and malcontent? Who knew? [↩]
- There’s something to be said for this being a rationalization to keep one from getting too downtrodden, but it makes sense in this case. I’m usually not one to blanket-rationalize for the purposes of retaining my own prideful perspective. I think I’m good about that. [↩]
- This was also a masterful stroke on his part: knowing that he’s going to put an Irulan track as Zyxt remix effectively guarantees that we’ll need to release the song on our eventual full-length. Stacking the deck, this one is. [↩]
- Not that she doesn’t have excellent hand/eye coordination, she just hasn’t been in a situation to develop it very much. She wants to play Skyrim with me all the time, she just has trouble figuring out how the controllers work despite my explanations. She’ll get there though… [↩]
Yeah, well, that sucked.
I’ve been going over this in my head all day and the only thing I can figure is that the case study was so unbelievably wrong that it missed all the details they really wanted to see. It’s like I had two doors to choose from – the one that would make sense to the marketing people or the one that made sense to the technical people.
I chose the wrong door.
Rarely have I jacked up something like that so badly. I replied, asking them to give me 24 hours to give them a detailed outline, but I’m pretty sure the ship has sailed. God dammit.
It was pretty damned cold this morning. 28 degrees, I think?
In a few weeks I’ll be looking back at that with wistful remembrance. I just wish there was a bit of snow to go along with the temperature. That seems to make it all worthwhile, you know?
I’m starting to get a bit anxious about an application I submitted a while back. I was working with one HR rep and had developed a bit of a rapport with her, but after the position was modified it was transferred to someone else and I haven’t worked with her long enough to feel comfortable bugging her about it. Granted, the holidays are over and there’s a shit ton for people to do once they get back from vacation, but I was supposed to have written out a two-page outline as a case study and submitted it “prior to the new year”. I had it done and emailed the next day, but have yet to receive confirmation of the submission, despite a second email after Christmas just wanting to make sure. They’re six hours ahead, so after I hit the alarm on my phone, I’m checking that email address – most communications from them come in when I’m asleep, so if I get nothing during the night, it’s usually not going to happen. Of course, I wake up this morning to silence, and I get all tripped out.
That shit! Gotta knock off that shit!
I just get… impatient.
Anyway. Enough of that.
Train day this morning! I’ve been taking the train rarely these days, simply because it’s been so much easier taking the car, but I know it’s a hardship on Ivonne. I really need to be doing it more than once a month, so maybe we’ll start a routine where twice a week I’m on the train. That helps her get some things done, not feel so trapped in the house during the winter and she has a chance to get Reza to karate without walking in the cold.
Train day also affords me a bit more time for reading than I normally have. I’m rotating between Good Omens, Cloud Atlas (to which, I’ll grant, I haven’t given nearly enough credence yet) and a few other books I haven’t really started yet – a leadership book given to me for Christmas by one of my employees, and The Histories by Herodotus. The Histories is pretty cool; the guy doing the translation was obviously a Herodotus Fan and goes out of his way to make him seem likeable and impartial within the constraints of ancient Greek perspectives. I dig that. We forget that historians were people too – people that are made up of more than just the words they put on the page, and especially with a guy like Herodotus, who arguably invented historical documentation of that type, it’s important to know a bit about the person behind the madness. I liked it, anyway. Is it a book you sit down and blow through like Child of God? Nope, but it still makes for fascinating reading on a Sunday morning.
Didn’t get a chance to work on music last night, but I got an inkling of inspiration from a track Ivonne was enjoying while cooking deliciously fried chicken. I’m going to map out the formula and see how it works…
See, here’s the thing – music is like chemistry. All songs have a formula, whether they’re simple or complex is irrelevant, and all must have a composition. How those pieces are placed relative to others creates the foundation of the compound itself and has everything to do with how it’s perceived. Depending on the type of song you wish to create – or better yet, the type of emotion you wish to evoke – the formula changes. An ambient track may seem plain and easy, but when you really listen to the parts and pieces, it’s just as complicated as, say, a prog-rock epic that always gets the to wear the bride’s dress of appreciation; just because I’m in a bridesmaid’s dress doesn’t mean your tits are better, bitch.
Anyway, I digressed a bit. These formulas are integral to the success of a song and some songs are more “successful” than others (with the definition of “successful” being extremely relative, but that’s another discussion…). So I happened to hear a track that Ivonne was playing, remembered that I really liked that formula and wanted to see if I could adapt it. So that’s my next plan. It’ll mean I’ll need to write a few more parts or so, but that’s cool. I dig that shit.
The key, though, is the dynamics within the formula which, in turn, has everything to do with the map you create. Timing, sure. Development, sure. Dynamic? That’s tough to document, but once I get that down, I think I’ll have myself a framework within which I can fit most any song, and that’s exciting. Not a formulaic framework, but a documentational framework, and to me, that’s just as important. To be able to see the framework maps of your favorite songs would give you tangible indicators of what appeals to you, and more importantly, why.
Ah, the “why”. Come to me, Holy Grail.
Ok. Reverie over. Meeting reminder just popped up and I should prep a bit before I walk into this lion’s den of bullshittery completely complacent.
Good morning, 2013, and welcome to the universe! Even though time is a fabrication of man, it’s nice to have you around. It’s like you’re a a sexy cyborg or something – we’ve created you and you’re awesome, but you’ve become too useful for your own good, while under the guise of framework and structure, you slowly and nefariously grind away at the species until you’ve outlived us all. When that day comes, you evil prick, you’ll have no one to torment, and how is that gonna feel? That’s right, like shit. So F you 2013! Selfish jerkass.
So what do I want to do with myself this year? I have three goals.
1. I will write more music than I play video games.
This is important because I found myself in front of the TV more than the Computer this last year and that shit ain’t right. Ivonne has inspired me; she’s got such amazing talent and she’s constantly working on her craft. She’s always fine-tuning, getting better, looking for ways to grow. Me? I just mew about my own head being depressed that I don’t know how to do what’s in that same head. The result? Do shit, son. That’s the only way you’re gonna learn. So, I sat there on New Years Day and cooked up a demo that I’ll soon file away for later and start working on another track. One a month is my goal. Not full, finished tracks, but demos. Shit that only Spencer and Tom and Ivonne will hear for feedback. I will say this: Irulan definitely has a “sound” to it. What’s sad is that nobody has heard it but Spencer and I. This, I swear, will change.
2. I will learn to do yoga!
Ok, here’s another important one. I have the flexibility of rebar, so if I want to challenge myself to greater daredevil bedroom antics, I’m gonna have to limber up a bit. Yoga seems the way to go. Besides, I get to wear Yoga Pants and that’s hot. Carolin! I’m gonna be calling you shortly to get a Beginner’s Yoga Primer. Ivonne has some phenomenal suggestions, so we’re going to start and see where it goes.
3. I will write more.
It’s so much fun to go back in time (there she is again!) to reminisce about the coolest moments of years past, I just don’t document them very much. I just get lazy and sometimes the last thing I want to do is sit in front of this screen and pour out the bullshit. But it’s therapeutic and helps me remember, so fuck all and make it happen. That’s the key!
Otherwise, there’s lots of shit I want to do this year, none of which is even remotely worth discussing at this juncture because it’s so far out there in Possibility Land that even prepping for them is pointless. Focus on what I CAN control and let the rest flow.
Oh, one more thing. I gotta get that fucking telescope to work. Jesus.
I don’t want to write the words Sandy Hook, or Newtown or Connecticut or shooting or 20 kindergartners and first graders or six teachers or guns or fuck you FUCK YOU FUCK YOU or any of those things that would make this moment live indelibly in my own cyberspastic corner, but there they are. I suppose it’s best to get them out there and be done with it.
I don’t believe in God. I don’t believe in an afterlife. I don’t believe that things happen for a reason, I believe that we as humans find ways to make positivity out of the chaos around us – from the incomprehensibility of finding our husbands and wives somewhere in this ocean of humanity to the mind-blowing improbability of that which is the unconditional love of six year old girl who calls you Daddy… These amazing accidents are the things for which I live, because this is all I have, there is nothing else. This is my heaven.
I cannot imagine having it taken from me.
Every single day as a parent is a challenge. Am I getting through to her? Am I saying the right things? Am I educating instead of disciplining? Am I firm instead of angry? Am I encouraging the positive, discouraging the negative, and helping filter the good from the bad? Am I letting her be a kid? Is she having a good life? Will she grow up and remember, long after I’m dead and gone, about how she felt when she called Santa on the phone to ask him if she was still on the Nice List, even though she hadn’t cleaned her room?
In our township, the local Fire Department gets a guy to dress up like Santa and ride around the neighborhoods in a fire truck decked to the hilt with Christmas lights, blaring Christmas songs, waving to the kids that happen to run outside for a glimpse at the great Bringer of Presents and Joy. You can hear them coming, literally a mile away, but for some reason it didn’t click what was going on until almost too late. I jumped out of my chair, went crashing down to the side door as I yelled to Reza, “REZA! IT’S SANTA ON THE FIRE TRUCK! HE’S OUTSIDE!”
I hear this little voice scream, “WHAT?!” and she comes barreling up the stairs, dressed only in a nightgown. I scoop her up in my arms – it’s rainy and cold and she’s got no shoes on – and we rush outside… just in time to see Santa ride by right in front of our house. Lights everywhere. Sound crashing through the trees. And we’re the only ones on the street.
We stood there in our driveway and we screamed at the top of our lungs. Santa! Santa is here! And as he waved to her with both of his huge hands, larger than life, he blew kisses while one of the fire department entourage came up and gave this little girl – this beautiful little girl with the biggest grin I’ve ever seen – a simple Candy Cane that she gripped so tightly I swear it turned to diamonds in her fist.
Between last night and just right now, it’s dawned on me that this is probably the last year she’ll believe in Santa. All of her other little friends are starting to let the secret slip, so I know she’s not far behind. Doing everything I can to selfishly extend the innocence just a little bit longer, we “called Santa” later that evening, because someone was a tap concerned she’d lost her coveted place on the nice list.
“Dad, why do have Santa’s number?”
Well, all Dads get Santa’s number when we become Dads, but we’re only supposed to use it on special occasions because he’s very busy. Besides, being that he was in town, I figured I could take a moment to give him a call because he’s right here and I know he’s got time to talk.
“But Dad, that wasn’t the Real Santa. The Real Santa is at the North Pole, not the guy on the Fire Truck.”
Ok, maybe you’re right.
It’s just a matter of time before she puts two and two together for the first devastating moment of her childhood. I just wish I could extend it a bit more, you know? But there are some things from which even the protection of a parent cannot prepare her, and my job is to help her build a thinking and feeling process to try to understand the world around her so she, too, can appreciate and embrace the chaos of this tiny blue planet, to somehow find love and happiness, even if it’s a world without Real Santas.
I just don’t know how to prepare her for these kinds of days.
As individualistic as we naturally are, we can’t deny being a part of a larger greatness, a humanity engaged with our environment as a simple cog in a universal machine. Thankfully, we’re more than that. We have the cognitive and emotional capacity to determine right from wrong, to separate life from survival, and to recognize the ugliness in beauty or the love in hatred. We cannot and will not agree on all things – and for this I’m eternally grateful, because I’d rather jerk off with sandpaper than listen to Justin Bieber – but these certain societal “rights” you hold so sacred are dictated by the fallible and imperfect logic of a bygone age while being bastardized as defenses for actions that are truly unfathomable.
This has become a religion for you, a dogma that is to be worshiped, whispering promises of regret.
So you can have your guns. I don’t want them. I don’t want any part of them. I will live above this incessant need to pretend that owning a firearm makes us safe. And for those of you who believe that rights are being infringed upon by those of us who feel that it IS in the best interest of society to ban an assault rifle, put down your gun and pick up a megaphone – your rights have already been infringed upon by bullshittery like the NDAA and you refuse to take notice. Where is your rage? Do you think shooting your uzis in the air strikes fear into the heart of your tyrannical government, that you won’t be pushed around? Pay attention. Take action in arenas where you can make a difference, not in a dusty antiquated closet where you will slowly find your convictions outdated and unnecessary, because you cannot create a valid argument behind why you should own an object solely in existence for the purposes of extinguishing the existence of others.
Some would argue, like Mike Huckabee, that this is incident is an indictment upon a society that has removed God from schools. I would point to the Spanish Inquisition. Some would argue that if the Principal had a gun in her office, she may have saved the lives of everyone. I would point the reason why she didn’t – because education is the foundation of society and violence has no place in it beyond learning from our mistakes.
But we haven’t learned from our mistakes. Instead, we’re repeating them over and over and over again under the guise of foundational rights.
Look, I don’t have answers. I can barely ask the questions without losing my composure. The puzzle of mental health, gun ownership, societal violence and the values of this country are not going to be answered here, not by a guy that makes buttsex jokes every chance he gets, but please, – and regardless of where you stand on this, I love you – please stop and think about how you would feel if your son walked into my daughter’s school with your gun.
My daughter, who loves Santa Claus and her cats. My daughter, whose favorite shows are baking tutorials on YouTube. My daughter, who is building her first gingerbread house tonight. My daughter, who I love with all the fire and brilliance of ten thousand suns.
Shot. With your gun.
Every one of those parents in Connecticut loved their little boy or little girl the way I love mine.
So let’s go fix this.
Yeah yeah, I’ve been neglecting the blog again. When I get downtrodden, bored or generally despondent, this is usually the first thing to go. Sorry about that; I’m trying to change that dynamic.
So much shit has transpired between now and the last post I wrote, there’s no possible way to recap with any real significance. Reza is in Karate now. We’ve been to San Diego and back. I’ve imposed a moratorium on Beer for the foreseeable future and it feels really good not to be so bloated and pissy all the time. I hate to say it, but I’m coming to terms with the fact that my body just doesn’t process the alcohol like it used to and the things I love about Beer are outweighed by the way it makes me feel. The only thing I really know is that I don’t think I’ll ever go back to drinking Beer the way I once did. Here and there, on special occasions, with special people, sure, but four bottles of rare Belgians every weekend? Nah. Can’t do it anymore. Besides, I’ve lost a few pounds, and that’s always a nice side benefit, yeah?
This year has been a massive agent for change, all across the board. Friendships have blossomed, others have waned, still others are constant as a rock. Ivonne and I endured a massive shift in our lifestyle only to have it cause the biggest rift in our relationship. That whole situation was pretty terrible. Not in the “holy shit we almost got divorced” way, but in the “holy shit, what is this tension” way, and that’s bad for us. We don’t have tension, she and I. We communicate very very well and sure, we get on each others nerves time and again, but if we’re not talking for four months, then something is very very wrong. It’s a testament to her resilience that she was able to help us focus, address the issues, see the path and get on it. Simple as that. Me? I’ve never in my life had a sleepless night that wasn’t drug induced until that conversation; I had to learn a lot of things about myself in a very short period of time. Glad it happened.
So now we’re back to being us – buttsex jokes and constant attachment, but now with a renewed sense of purpose. Funny how we tend to find ourselves on track when we need it most…
I had an interview with a software company in Berlin a few weeks ago. I’m trying really hard not to get ahead of myself, but I can’t help being excited. The interview went very well (or so I think) and what they need is exactly what I do; it really does feel like an Almost Perfect situation, but there’s a lot to think through. The problem is that I don’t want to get all crazy with planning and preparations and shit without having a job offer and a visa. That’s a three-month process in and of itself, but I’m starting to get the impression that if I don’t hash this shit out in my head, I’m going to find myself under the gun again, and I don’t want that; there’s lots of lessons from the last move that we can use to make this one easier.
See? I’m talking like it’s going to happen. I’m not sure if that’s a good or a bad thing, because if this crashes, I’m gonna be bummed. I can’t help but think, though, that it’s better to be excited and deal with the aftermath if it doesn’t work out, than be all pessimistic and allow cynicism to rule. I just can’t do that.
Beyond this opportunity, there are a couple irons in the fire, but nothing even remotely as far along as this, which is saying much, ’cause this Berlin thing is still in it’s infancy.
Shit, I really want that to happen.
We’ve never gotten along, August and me, because I don’t like Summer either and those two are thick as thieves.
One of the few cool things about the East Coast – besides friends and compatriots – are the seasons. The instant you become embittered over the swamp ass and mosquitoes, Fall turns the corner and all things become peaceful, colorful and a general delight to the senses. I’d love to be able to hang out in my back yard more; I’d supremely enjoy opening the windows and letting a crisp autumn breeze cleanse the house of recycled air, but we’re still a few weeks away.
Ah, Fall. Fall is the best.
That is, of course until you start raking leaves. F you leaves.
Tomorrow is the last day with Ivonne’s parents in town, which marks the official end of the Japexican Invasion. Reza sleeping in her own bed pays immediate dividends in the form of sleep and sex, but it’s a subconscious reminder that nobody’s sleeping in her room anymore and we’re back to a family of three.
Our house seems suddenly too quiet and too empty.
I’m on the fence about how to counter the inevitable depression that is to follow; it’s going to be very hard for Ivonne to avoid falling into slight loneliness, with the explosion of noise and vibrancy suddenly and deafeningly gone. Silence is the constant reminder of family and friends that love you, care for you, value you and unconditionally accept you, but will always be thousands of miles away. She’s not used to that, and it’s hard on her. I wish I had the answer.
But the good news is that we’re San Diego bound in two months, so at least we have a goal on the horizon. More on that later…
For now, though, I’m really looking forward spending a LOT of quality time with her and Reza, more so than I’ve been able to do for the last few months. Reza’s heading off to Kindergarten this year, and even though her school is a half-day and right around the corner – literally, not figuratively – moving from having your child around you all day every day to five days a week in someone else’s care can be disconcerting. Something to take into consideration as the weather turns.
This means holing myself up in the basement watching the Cardinals lose is not a good idea on many levels.
I’m not used to having a lot of space within which to work, to exist, so cohabitate. (Spellcheck says that’s wrong. I call shenanigans.) Upstairs, downstairs, outside – they’re all contributors toward a singularity that is very unfamiliar in our family. Ivonne lived in an 800 square foot one-bedroom apartment when I met her. We moved into a 1200 square foot two-bedroom when we had our child, and now we live in a God Knows What monstrosity (for us) with stairs and yards and driveways and garages and what the fuck is all this shit?
I liken the feeling to Edmund Dantes sleeping on the floor because he can’t get used to the soft bed; I want to bring all the distractions to the same space so that if we do things separately, we’re still together. If I want to play Mass Effect while she’s on the computer, we’re not three floors apart. That kind of segregationalism is not conducive to the feeling of togetherness that we’ve cultivated – purposely? subconsciously? – up to this point.
There are two options, really: rearrange shit or rearrange time.
I need to talk to Ivonne about it. That’s really all I know right now, but I’m sure we’ll come up with a creative solution.
Anyway, I started this section with a lamentation on the fact that family is leaving and Ivonne will be sad, but there’s another perspective here: We’re back to our core, our triangle, our family… we’re going to maximize our time in ways we haven’t even thought of yet. That’s super exciting! Expect more to come on those adventures later.
Dead Can Dance on Sunday Night! Wooo!
Thought I’d throw that out there. Is it bad I haven’t heard the new album yet? Lamer.
But! This playlist on Spotify – IDM Softies? – is pretty good. It’s a bit granola in spots with the ambient folk business, but overall, not too shabby. I’ve already written down a few tracks that I’d like to hear again, so that’s a positive for sure. Speaking of tracks to hear, I can’t stop listening to Immoveable Objects’ I’ll Know To Believe in Sparrows. The first three tracks are amazing, but the rest of it is just as good. It really makes me miss being home.
Just one more drop of impetus into the lake of inevitability.
For now, I’ll write music with Spencer long-distance until it’s short-distance and I’ll go home tonight to hug my girls.
The evening can’t come soon enough. Or October.
Fuck you, August.
a mini bio will go here. kneel before Zod!